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Thursday, July 29, 2021

NiMet Warns Airlines, Pilots on Air Turbulence as Rain Falls

NiMet Warns Airlines, Pilots on Air Turbulence as Rain Falls

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on Friday issued warnings to pilots that severe turbulence may occur as a result of the commencement of rainy season in many locations across the country.

It said adverse weather activities associated with the onset period included high intensity storm within a short duration of time, high turbulence that may damage properties, among others.

NiMet’s director-general, Mansur Matazu, said at a press briefing in Abuja that the season would be characterised by electrical charges in the atmosphere that could cause thunderstorms, adding that there would be series of microbursts incidents at airports.

Matazu explained that “Microbursts are mini-thunderstorms that emanate from the cloud because of the low temperature of the cloud.”

He added, “These microbursts which happen around the airports cause wind-shear problems and that is why we have an alert system by which we issue alerts to pilots through the Air Traffic Controllers.

“Now, the negative implications of these weather issues include the fact that they cause severe turbulence during descent or at certain flying levels.

“You can also experience clear air turbulence and it happens during the onset period of the rainy season.”

Matazu noted that heavy rains during the season would make the surface of airport runways wet leading to skidding, impaired horizontal visibility as well as affect ground operations.

The NiMet boss stated that his agency had issued out special alerts to airlines and other operators across all airports in Nigeria and would continue to issue same as the rainy season sets in fully.

He stated that the agency had been issuing weather updates to Air Traffic Controllers at intervals of 30 minutes daily and that the updates were relayed to pilots.

“We want pilots to be conscious of precautionary measures and adhere to standard operating procedures to ensure safety in aviation,” he said.

He enjoined airline operators to take weather information very seriously and urged passengers to exercise patience whenever delays or cancellations were made due to weather concerns.

 

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